Firefighters bring Mount Clear fire under control

A grass and scrub fire at Mount Clear near Ballarat yesterday (16 April) has burned more than 20 hectares.


Photo by Haddon Fire Brigade

Investigations are continuing into the cause of the fire which quickly spread from grassland into a nearby pine plantation, fanned by strong, gusty winds.

More than 150 firefighters fought the blaze, with water aircraft providing crucial support from above.

The fire is now deemed under control, with crews remaining at the scene overnight to continue to work on the fire. Firefighters and aircraft will continue at the scene today (17 April) to mop up and black out hot spots. 

Image: April 2019

The fire started just before 11.30am near Tinworth Avenue in Mount Clear, 10 kilometres south of Ballarat.

A further 10 tankers were paged shortly after the first crews arrived on scene, with plant and equipment from Forest Fire Management Victoria also brought in to put in access points and fire breaks. 

Victoria Police also closed roads around the incident. A control point was set up at the intersection of Tinworth Avenue and Whitehorse Road.

A Watch and Act message was quickly upgraded to an Emergency Warning just after midday as the fire threatened properties on Whitehorse Road. 

Venting gas cylinders and heavy fuel loads including gorse and blackberry added to the challenges faced by crews as they battled against the wind to contain the fire.

The Emergency Warning was able to be downgraded to a Watch and Act just before 3.30pm as the threat to homes subsided.

The fire was deemed under control at 3.55pm.

A community meeting was held yesterday evening at the Bunninyong Community Centre to update people on the fire situation

Roads remain closed in the area to allow emergency personnel to continue to work on the fire: Whitehorse Road at Phoenix Drive; Bridge Street at Wallaby Track; and Oriental Lane and Frenchmans Lane.

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Author: Shaunnagh O'Loughlin